Since September 2012, the GOP worked to transform the terrorist attack against a U.S. consulate in Benghazi into a political liability for President Obama and potential presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, holding numerous hearings and countless investigations into whether the Obama administration covered up the details of the incident in order to secure re-election.
On Thursday morning, Fox News host Bill Hemmer and National Review contributor Jonah Goldberg tried to keep the Benghazi narrative alive by connecting the release of U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl to the Benghazi incident. As they spoke, the network showed a split screen of Bergdahl and Benghazi:
Goldberg admitted that “there are a lot of ways [the Bergdahl exchange] is different than Benghazi,” but proceeded to outline a litany of ways for how Republicans can attack the president by following the Benghazi blueprint.
The prisoner exchange “seems to confirm virtually everything… that critics say about Obama,” he explained. “It’s unilateralism, the imperial presidency, dishonesty, hypocrisy like with the signing statements part of this, an elevation of ideology above the national interest, a monomaniacal pursuit of elevating his poll data above the national interest, I mean there is a lot of things going on for people to pick at.”
Lawmakers — including high ranking Democrats — have raised concerns about the Obama administration’s failure to inform the Congress of plans to release prisoners from Guantanamo Bay, as requited by the National Defense Authorization Act. The White House has previously promised to consult with Congress about any prisoner swap, but has claimed that Bergdahl’s declining health forced it to act quickly.
Since news of the exchange broke on Saturday, guests and hosts on the Fox network have tried to brand the story “Benghazi 2.0.” On Wednesday, Fox News regular Keith Ablow speculated that Obama agreed to the prisoner exchange because he “doesn’t affiliate with patriotism” and “wants out of America.”
Elected Republican lawmakers have also followed up on the Benghazi comparison. During an appearance on MSNBC to discuss the Bergdahl exchange, Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) referred to the Benghazi attacks twice to argue that the administration is incompetent.